The area that is today Moldova was the core
country of the historic region of Bessarabia, which was
incorporated into the Principality of Moldova during the
15th century. A century later, the Principality ended up
under Ottoman (Turkish) rule. So the situation remained
until Russia conquered the area in 1812. When the
Russian Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, Bessarabia
declared independence, to join Romania a year later.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Moldova, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Today's Moldova has been inhabited by a long line of
people since the Stone Age, including Thracians, Celts,
Goths and Huns. The slaves migrated in the 400s. Later,
the area became part of the Bulgarian Empire before,
among other magyars and Mongols, invaded.
The area was the core country of the historic region
of Bessarabia, which got its name in the 1300s and
covered an area between the Dnestr and Prut rivers which
is now shared between Moldova and Ukraine. Bessarabia
was incorporated in the 15th century with the
Principality of Moldova in present-day Romania and
remained part of the Principality for several centuries.
In the 16th century the area was invaded by the
Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. During this period, the city
of Bender (now Tighina) was founded, which is famous for
Karl XII's stay there and his fight against Turks and
Tatars in 1713 - the so-called Calabash in Bender.
Bessarabia was conquered by Russia in 1812. The
Russian regime lasted until 1917 when the tsarism broke
down and communists (Bolsheviks) took power. During the
Russian Revolution, Bessarabia proclaimed itself an
independent republic. Following a referendum, the new
republic joined Romania in early 1918.
However, the Communist Soviet Union, formed in 1922,
refused to acknowledge the loss of Bessarabia. In order
to strengthen Soviet demands in this area, Moscow
leaders created a new administrative unit in an area
east of the Dnieper River, which until then belonged to
the Soviet Republic of Ukraine. The new unit, which had
a mixed population - of which 30 percent was Romanian,
was named Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Republic in 1924.
At the beginning of the Second World War, Romania was
forced by the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (a
non-assault pact between Germany and the Soviet Union)
to hand Bessarabia to the Soviet Union. The northern and
southern parts of the area were incorporated in 1940
with the Soviet Republic of Ukraine, while the central
part of Bessarabia was merged with the part of the
Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Republic which today
constitutes Transnistria (the remaining parts of the
Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Republic returned to
Ukraine). The result of the merger was the Socialist
Soviet Republic of Moldova. In 1941 Romania recaptured
the area but it was withdrawn by the Soviet Union in
The United States is showing its support
US Secretary of State John Kerry visits Moldova to show US support. Kerry's
short visit to Chișinău replaces a canceled trip to Ukraine.
The Moldovan language becomes Romanian
The Constitutional Court states that the Moldovan language will henceforth be
officially referred to as Romanian. Thus, over two decades of confusion is
settled around the designation of the country's official language, which since
the liberation from the Soviet Union has been called Moldavian. According to
most linguists, Moldovan and Romanian are basically the same language with only
Western Christmas is introduced
Decides that the "Western" Christmas Day, December 25, will be the official
holiday in Moldova, while the country is celebrating Orthodox Christmas on
January 7; The decision is criticized by the Orthodox Church and the Communist
Party. Neighboring Romania celebrates Christmas in December, despite the fact
that the Orthodox Church dominates Christianity there.
Transnistria adopts Russian laws
Following Moldova's agreement with the EU (see November 2013),
the transnistrian Republic of Transnistria decides to switch to Russian
legislation. According to the leader of the Republic, Transnistria prioritizes
integration into the Euro-Asian area, that is, the Russian-led customs union
rejected by Moldova.
EU friends support the government
Following Russia's attempts to disrupt Moldova's path to the EU (see
September 2013), tens of thousands of protesters gather in the capital
Chișinău to show their support for the government's plans to conclude
cooperation agreements with the EU at the end of the month. From the EU
Commission then comes the message that Moldova qualified to release visa
requirements to EU countries. However, no timetable is specified for when the
proposal can be decided and come into force.
One step towards the EU despite protests
Over a thousand EU opponents demonstrate in Chișinău against the country's
proximity to the EU. The protest is organized by the Communist Party, and its
leader Vladimir Voronin calls on Moldova to follow in Ukraine's footsteps and
stop talks with Brussels on closer cooperation. Despite the protests, Moldova
participates in the EU summit in Vilnius at the end of the month and signs an
agreement that is supposed to lead to a formal association agreement with the
European Union in 2014. Georgia also signs a similar agreement.
EU support but with conditions
EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle visiting Moldova explains that the
country is a leader in the so-called Eastern Partnership's path to closer
relations with the EU. But according to Füle, Moldova must urgently implement
constitutional reform and in-depth reform of the judiciary, fight corruption and
improve the business climate. The Commissioner promises that the EU will stand
on Moldova's side if the country is subject to external pressure (see
September 2013) with a view to obstructing EU ambitions.
"Propaganda Law" is torn down
Parliament is repealing a law that made it criminal to disseminate
information on homosexuality to minors. The change in the law is part of the
efforts to conclude an association agreement with the EU.
Russia threatens Moldova
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin warns Moldova of "serious
consequences" if the country signs an association agreement with the EU. Such an
agreement would, according to Rogozin, hamper efforts to resolve the conflict
around Transnistria (see in particular the chapter Transnistria). He also
suggests that it could mean an end to cheap gas supplies to poor Moldova during
winter. Moldova President Nicolae Timofti responds that the Moldavians cannot
live under threat and explains that his country is determined to forge closer
ties with the EU.
Russia stops Moldovan wine
Russia is increasing its pressure by stopping its extensive wine imports from
Moldova on the grounds that the wine is not of sufficient quality. Russia is
Moldova's leading export market. The European Commission responds to the Russian
decision with a proposal that the EU should open its market entirely to
An approach to the EU
Moldova signs an agreement to encourage greater economic integration with the
EU, a decision rejected by Moscow.
Clearly with a new prime minister
Parliament approves former Foreign Minister Lurie Leancă as new Prime
Minister. Most ministers remain from Vlad Filat's government, but five new
ministers are appointed to the Leancă coalition.
Court declines Filat as prime minister
The Constitutional Court disapproves President Timofti's appointment of Vlad
Filat as the new governor. The Court based its decision on the fact that the
Filat government lost a vote of no confidence in Parliament due to suspicions of
corruption. Filat describes the court's decision as politically motivated, but
President Timofti instead appoints Foreign Minister Iurie Leancă as acting prime
The President is forced to resign
The political power struggle leads to the resignation of Parliament's Speaker
Marian Lupu, after members of Prime Minister Filat's Liberal Democratic Party
voted in favor of the Communist opposition.
The government is falling
The Filat government resigns since it lost a vote of no confidence in
Parliament. It happens when some of the government's own members vote with the
Conflict within the government
Prime Minister Filat, who leads the Liberal Democratic Party, accuses his
coalition partners of the Liberal Party and the Democratic Party of corruption.
The play raises fears about the coalition's disintegration and an upcoming
The Prosecutor General is forced away
The prosecutor leaves after suspicions that he is guilty of the death of a
businessman in connection with hunting. Prime Minister Vlad Filat has called on
the prosecutor to leave his post to avoid suspicions about the impact of the
investigation. Prosecutors respond by launching an investigation into suspected
abuse of power against the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health.